This series is aimed to provide a Business Spotlight on local people and businesses in the East Contra Costa County community that are being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their response to the virus.
In today’s business spotlight, Karentina Fujinaga of Tumble Time Xpress who travels all of East Contra Costa County, highlights how she was forced to park both her bus and train for the time being due to the shelter-in-place directive.
Talk about your company and what you do.
We are a mobile playground/enrichment class for children ages 2-8. Our classes include a warmup (introducing some basic Spanish words) a large motor circuit using a variety of equipment, a song or book with an ASL sign that matches, our signature zipline and ball pit and we end class with bubbles to cool down…we do all this on a BUS (or on our train!).
Why did you open your business?
My children were huge fans of Tumble Time before we purchased the business—the train was bought 5-years ago and the bus about 3-years ago. Kids being active, learning, and playing while having fun was a motto I believe in and feel strongly about.
Part of why I bought the business was for 17-years I had been a middle school math teacher and was beginning to question being a teacher and this opportunity came up. I was excited about it because I still had the ability to work with children.
What do you love most about it?
I love the pure joy on a child’s face when they zipline and love it, the giggles when we sing silly songs, and the way toddlers and preschoolers always teach me something new about how to look at life.
Seeing the world through a young child’s eyes is both unique and special. They are all so unique and everything they do just makes you appreciate everything more—it’s the little things that kids get excited about that we as adults forget, its special.
I also enjoy engaging with parents and seeing their excitement with what we do. I also love giving them the quiet time they need for an hour or two. It’s a great community and the families are so much fun to be around, especially the parties for the kids.
How has the coronavirus impacted your business?
Being a mobile business, it has been greatly impacted, as we haven’t had any classes since the SIP began and will not until it is safe again—so basically both the train and the bus have been parked this whole time.
Up until March 15, we had at least party booked every Saturday and Sunday, that has all stopped. We also run busy all the way up though the end of May before summer hits with graduation—we do a lot of elementary school field-trips for TK and Kindergarten and those have been cancelled.
While my business is being impacted by SIP, it is also concerning for young children because it does impact them because they have lost the experience we provide and the routines. Many times, this is a second or third child where the older kids have gone through the experience, but now theirs is lost.
We also do “Mommy Mondays” which is a special class for bonding and creating an experience where we are interacting with families and bringing people together. We can no longer hold that time each week.
How have you responded to coronavirus – how has your business changed
Our business is an in person business! We are doing some short videos of books, signs and activities families can do at home. We just want to keep the connection with our families during this time. We miss our Tumble Time kids and families terribly during this time and know we will be excited and enthusiastic to come back better than ever when the SIP is lifted.
Our interactions were never designed to be on a screen or virtual, they were designed to be hands on and create experiences away from the home and monitors. There is no replacement for a ball pit and a zip-line.
Any special deals right now that the community can take advantage of?
We do not have any specials/deals currently, as our business on hold. Our website has links to gift certificates (for future classes/parties) and punch cards for our popular Drop and Shop (in the future).
Business Spotlight Series
- #11: With Gym Shut Down, Fit Body Boot Camp Moves to Virtual Workouts
- #10: Diablo View Florist Still Delivering, Urges Support of Shop Local
- #9: Dan Torres Moves from Face-to-Face to Technology to Meet Client Needs
- #8: Brownstone Gardens Impacted After Ban on Large Gatherings
- #7: Hilton Family Law Navigates Case Load With Court System in Flux
- #6: GolfBallin Stays Positive While Navigating Around Golf Course Closures
- #5: Rapunzel Wigs Closed After County Ordinance, Supply Chain Impact
- #4: Rick Fuller Says Technology Helping Move Property During Covid-19 Pandemic
- #3: The Bike Shop Reopens After Clarification on Essential Business
- #2: Revive Salon and Spa Closes, Now Waits Out Stay-At-Home Order
- # 1: Josh Young at Newfront Insurance Navigates Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Disclosure: this series is being done at no cost to local business or individuals as an attempt to provide value to our community. If interested in potentially being included in this series, email [email protected]